Goals are something me and other financial planners discuss frequently with our clients. Sometimes, though, it's harder for people than you might think. I get it - I used to hate the "goal setting" activities at school with a serious passion. Mainly because they were futile exercises that were never reviewed again, so I felt they were a serious waste of time.
So, how is this different? Nobody is forcing you to set arbitrary goals. You're not being graded on this.
Goal setting for financial planning helps us have an idea of what is important to you and helps us create a plan so you can do more of whatever it is you love.
Some people will tell me they "don't know what type of goal they're supposed to have." Guess what? There's no magic answer! Your goals are as unique as you are and your financial plans can and should be tailored to match that.
I thought I might write a bit about "unique" goals I've heard clients mention (apart from the more traditional "retirement," "buying a home," "paying for my kids' education" or "making my side hustle my sole income.")
Here are some of the most memorable ones (in no particular order):
1) Publishing a book.
This is particularly common in academic circles where you usually need to cover all or part of the associated costs even when dealing with a reputable publisher.
2) Self-financing a "sabbatical" or "gap year" from work abroad.
3) Providing a good life for a car.
Car lovers are next level. You know the type. This is similar but not to providing for a pet. For these people, this involves meticulous maintenance regiments and long relaxing drives with their mechanical loves. In these instances, I'll recognize their love for their car by including it by name in their plan.
4) Financial security for a pet.
Either estate planning to ensure the pet is well cared for if you pass away or just being financially stable enough to afford a pet and all that that entails. (This is not different than providing for any other family member, in my opinion. However, many people fail to consider it so I am always so happy to hear this.)
5) Saving for fertility treatments or adoption and all those processes entail (procedures, medications, legal fees, time off work, etc.)
Saving extra for baby items and mat leave is definitely a thing I discuss often. But, sometimes extra costs (emotional and financial) are involved with adding a little one to the family.
6) Saving for gender reassignment surgery.
This is an emotionally, mentally and financially heavy goal. I really dislike that these and fertility procedures are considered "luxury" or "elective" procedures that often need to be financed privately to avoid massive waitlists for minimal subsidies at best. However, I'm totally here for supporting you as best I can in your efforts to live life your way.
7) Being able to afford good ______ (insert product of choice here).
The heart wants what it wants. I appreciate people who are unabashedly themselves. My favourite examples of this include a person who wanted to become a politician and be able to host wine and cheese parties with quality fromage and a person who wanted to be able to afford premium "intimate adult toys" without the "guilty pleasure."
What goals are you working towards?
My name is Tara Downs Rocchetti. I am a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® living in Hamilton, ON.